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Kapinos, Not Graham, Will Punt, Hold

Posted by Randy Lange on December 23, 2007 – 3:28 pm

The Jets are shaking up two positions on their roster for their game against the Tennessee Titans that starts in about an hour.

A major change involves Ben Graham being deactivated for the first time in his three seasons as the Jets punter. The punting duties will be handled by Jeremy Kapinos, recently signed to the practice squad and this week promoted to the active roster.

Kapinos is on the LP Field grass and punting during warmups now. His early kicks look solid — tight spirals with 4.5-second hangtimes into the currently gentle breezes of Nashville, Tenn.

Equally important as Kapinos’ punting will be his holding. He is kicker Mike Nugent’s new holders, and along with LS James Dearth, they are working on their timing right now, with Nugent just hitting 49- and 52-yarders toward the end zone that gave him so much trouble in last season’s opening game here. After the 52, Kapinos bumps fists with Nugent and Dearth.

Another change will be at LG, with Adrien Clarke also being deactivated after making 14 starts. The Jets haven’t announced who will start but it likely will be Will Montgomery, who’s been alternating at the position every few series with Clarke the past several weeks.

The Jets also have Robert Turner and Clint Oldenburg active after both were signed from the practice squad. They are listed at tackles on today’s flip card but either or both would, plus backup center Wade Smith, form the depth at all five positions for today.

As for quarterback, another fairly important position, no announcements have been made there, either. Chad Pennington is one of the five captains at the front of the team leading stretching now, and Kellen Clemens is in uniform and looks OK as well. Suspicions have been that Pennington will get his first start since Game 8 vs. Buffalo (although he played virtually the entire game last week at New England after Clemens got hurt). We’ll know the depth chart for this game soon enough.

The Jets’ inactives besides Graham and Clarke are WR Chris Davis, CB Andre Dyson (who had two INTs in last year’s game), OL Jacob Bender, TE Sean Ryan and DL Kareem Brown. Marques Tuiasosopo is again the third quarterback.

The Titans inactives also start with a stunner: Kevin Mawae, who injured his calf in last week’s game and didn’t practice at all this week, has been deactivated for this game against his former team. The Tennessee starter at C will be Eugene Amano.

DT Albert Haynesworth, fighting a nagging hamstring pull, also didn’t practice all week but is active and presumably ready to create havoc with the Jets’ interior O-line.

The Titans’ inactives besides Mawae are WRs Paul Williams and Mike Williams, CB Nick Harper, FB Casey Cramer, LB Gilbert Gardner and DEs Sean Conover and Bryce Fisher. They are not designating a third QB.

The Jets are in their white jerseys and green pants. The referee will be Terry McAulay. Dick Enberg and Randy Cross will be the CBS announcing team for the fourth Jets game this season. They also called the losses to Baltimore, the Giants and Cleveland.


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Clarke: ‘It Doesn’t Feel Good at All’

Posted by Randy Lange on December 19, 2007 – 1:39 pm

Say what you want about Adrien Clarke, but even when he’s sitting in front of his locker, he’s a standup guy.

My good friend Tom Rock from Newsday had a tough question and had to pose it. He asked Clarke during today’s media session to revisit the heavy pressure the Jets’ left guard allowed on the second offensive play to New England’s Richard Seymour on Sunday, which resulted in Eugene Wilson’s interception-return TD and Kellen Clemens’ rib injury.

"I really don’t know what it is that I can say," Clarke told Rock and several other reporters. "You saw it. It’s not a great feeling, if that’s what you’re asking."

"When you can see something like that, it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel good at all."

Clarke was asked if he talked with Clemens about the play.

"When you’re an offensive lineman," he began, "one of the things you pride yourself on is making sure your quarterback doesn’t get touched and making sure you’re opening up holes. When that doesn’t happen, you feel terrible.

"When I saw him, I told him, ‘My bad,’ I apologized. There’s no other way of putting it. I can sit down and take what you guys might say about it, but the actual feeling, knowing what happened, it’s 10 times worse than that."

And when AC offered his apologies, what did KC say?

"He just told me, ‘You’ve got a whole game in front of you, so don’t worry about it. Just keep on making up for it on all the other plays,’ " Clarke said. "He had a great attitude about it."

Clarke needs a similar attitude about this week of practice because it will likely be him and Will Montgomery at LG again, and Sunday’s assignment in Nashville, Tenn., will be trying to hold Titans DRT Albert Haynesworth at bay.

"He embarrasses people. He’s a great player," Clarke said, shrugging off the prospect of sleepless nights ahead leading up to this game. "That’s what comes with the territory. You just try to prepare yourself the best way that you can, just try and put your best foot forward and go from there."

Many Green & White fans are rooting for Adrien Clarke to do just that.

Speaking of Quarterbacks

Head coach Eric Mangini did not designate his starter for Tennessee, stating at his late-morning news conference of the decision: "It’s really health-related. We have to see where Kellen is, what he can do in terms of practice throughout the course of the week and where he is at the end of the week with his ability to function effectively."

We’ll have more after practice in a short while.


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A (Blue and) Golden Day for Football

Posted by Randy Lange on October 14, 2007 – 12:16 pm

The throwback uniforms are front and center. The Jets are coming out a few at a time in colors of their forebears, the Titans of 1960-62, and the unis look good.

Right now just before noon, the only Jets on the field are the placement troika of LS James Dearth, H Ben Graham and K Mike Nugent. The jerseys are navy with numbers, names and stripes in an old gold look. The pants are more of a bright gold, maybe a yellow with a sheen. The Jets’ shiny green pants, especially when paired with their green tops (which hasn’t happened since Game 13 and Buffalo last season), aren’t as sharp, but this look works.

It doesn’t hurt that the weather is mostly sunny, the temperature is in the low 60s and the wind has yet to swirl. One of those great football days.

Let’s hope the uniforms work as a catalyst toward a schneid-busting victory over the visiting Eagles, who will be the only team on the Meadowlands field wearing green today.

One lineman in today’s game, guard Adrien Clarke, has been saying hello to old friends from the Eagles, with whom he played before coming to the Jets.

"There’ll be some hellos before game," Clarke said this week, "but my focus this week is on helping us get a winning streak started."

One former Jets lineman won’t have an on-field rematch with his first green team from last season is Kimo von Oelhoffen. KVO is IA for Philadelphia today.

The Jets’ inactives are WR David Clowney, DB Drew Coleman, TE Joe Kowalewski, OL Will Montgomery, DL Mike DeVito, rookie OL Jacob Bender and TE Jason Pociask. Marques Tuiasosopo is again the third QB.

That means S Erik Coleman, who sat out the Giants game with a concussion, is active and is expected to contribute. He’s doing drills with the other DBs now and is bouncing around well. Will he regain his starting job from Eric Smith, who played well last week? The Jets have made no announcement of a starting change, although Coleman is working with the second defense, Smith with the first in warmups.

Besides von Oelhoffen, the Eagles’ other IAs are FS Brian Dawkins, CB Lito Sheppard, LB Pago Togafau, G Scott Young, DE Victor Abiamiri and WR Greg Lewis. Rookie Kevin Kolb is the third QB.

Dawkins was expected to be out, Sheppard, it wasn’t certain. With Quintin Mikell starting for Dawk at FS and William James for Sheppard at LCB, that doesn’t hurt the chances for Chad Pennington and the Jets’ passing game to do some downfield damage. But it will help immensely if Pennington goes back to his error-free play of his first two games rather than the INTs of Buffalo and the Giants, and if the running game led by Thomas Jones gets a head of steam going today.

The referee today is Gerry Austin. Not that this has any significance, but since 1995 Austin has refereed 16 Jets games, with the Green & White having a 7-9 record in those games. But since 2004, the Jets are 4-1 in Austin-refed games, the most recent one being last year’s Christmas night triumph at Miami.

The first quarter of Navy & Gold football in the last 45 years of the franchise is about 45 minutes away.


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OC Likes Baker as ‘Complete Player’

Posted by Randy Lange on September 28, 2007 – 2:35 pm

It was Coordinator Day at Weeb Ewbank Hall today, and OC Brian Schottenheimer was ready to dive into the subject matter of his first question: TE Chris Baker.

"It’s funny. Everybody’s been asking about Chris lately," Schottenheimer said. "Chris is a complete player, he really is. He’s been seen over his career as a great run blocker, but he’s got excellent hands. He’s doing a better job of route-running, and when the ball’s in his vicinity, he finds a way to pull it in."

Especially when he’s catching those flips from Chad Pennington. Ten times the two have hooked up for scores, and the average length of each TD catch is 3.3 yards. That’s not good for Baker’s per-catch average, but it’s great for him being in the mix each game, as Schottenheimer says he is.

"Chris is definitely a guy who’s always in our plan," he said. "The ball might not always go to him, but he’s in our plan as we build our progression every week."

A few other offensive snap-Schotts:

● What impressed the OC about Kellen Clemens’ Baltimore start was "the way he competed. He showed some toughness and leadership. … More than anything, he should feel good that he went out and played pretty well. He didn’t play perfect, obviously, but he did some good things."

● He said of LG Adrien Clarke’s improvement, "like any young player, he’s starting to grow. The big thing for an offensive line, for any group, is spending time together."

● On Brad Smith’s multiple roles, he said, "I’ve always trusted Brad in terms of the effort he gives, the way he competes for the ball, the way he competes in the running game. You always feel good when 16’s in the game."

That is especially true when 16 is the deep back in the Jets’ kneeldown formation. That had been Jerricho Cotchery’s role most of last season, but Smith was the emergency back for the final two snaps of last regular season vs. Oakland, and he assumed that position for Chad Pennington’s three kneeldowns Sunday vs. Miami.

"Yeah, I guess that is another position for me," Smith told me as he dashed for the locker room and then home ahead of Saturday’s flight to Buffalo. "I’m used to being in that formation, but before I did the kneeling." When he was the four-year starting QB at Missouri, of course.

For Saturday morning surfing, I’ll have a longer news story on defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s interview with Jets reporters.


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Z.Thomas’ Impact on This Rivalry

Posted by Randy Lange on September 22, 2007 – 8:19 am

Jets fans should fully appreciate what they won’t see Sunday in the Meadowlands. It’s rarer than an Olympiad, about as rare as a solar eclipse, not quite as rare as hearing the 17-year locusts.

Zach Thomas won’t be in Miami’s lineup.

This news was announced by the Dolphins on Friday, but it bears repeating how unusual an occurrence this is. Thomas has missed only 13 games in his 12-year career. And he missed only one game against the Green & White. That was the second meeting of 2000, the one in Miami after the Monday Night Miracle, when Zach’s ankle was too painful for him to go on.

But Thomas’ reputation is such that the Jets, hearing that No. 54 might not suit up, said in effect they’d believe it when they see it. And at least one fan sending a comment to the radar didn’t believe Thomas would miss the game even after Dolphins coach Cam Cameron declared his mainstay MLB out.

Believe it. Thomas, apparently on the first play of the Dolphins’ game last week against the Cowboys, took a shot to his head while tackling Julius Jones. He played the rest of the game, but on Monday he was said to be suffering from migraine headaches, which kept him out of all the practices for the Jets this week. On Friday, the Dolphins reclassified the injury as a concussion.

The ‘Fins will adjust, as all athletic teams everywhere do when a key player goes down. But Channing Crowder, who will step into the middle vs. the Jets, told Dolphins media this week, "I can’t be a Zach Thomas, but I’m going to try and step in there and not miss a step with the defense."

And Jets guard Adrien Clarke, who’s never played against ZT but watched plenty of video of No. 54 this week, strung a number of football phrases together in describing what he’d seen on video and heard from his teammates this week.

"If there’s a tackle to be made, nine times out of 10 Zach’s making it," Clarke said. "He gets to the ball all over the field. He’s a hole-plugger, hard-nosed, tough-nosed. He’s a great player."

But Zach will sit this one out. And here are a few reasons the Jets offense, even though they’d love to face him, will be happy to play the Dolphins without him.

In the 21 games he’s played against the Jets, Thomas has unofficially racked up 195 tackles — 9.3 a game — and has made 22 tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage. Both those totals are the most by a Jets opponent in the last 12 seasons. Here are the leaders against the Jets in those categories since 1996:

  Total Tackles   Tkls for Loss/No Gain  
  Zach Thomas, MIA 195   Zach Thomas, MIA 22.0  
  Tedy Bruschi, NE 152   Jason Taylor, MIA 19.0  
  Lawyer Milloy, NE-BUF 112   Willie McGinest, NE 15.0  

Get well soon, Zach. We’ll see you in Miami on Dec. 2, no doubt.

J-Vil’s Special Skills

Jonathan Vilma has also been known to be in the middle of things for the Jets, and that was never truer than the Baltimore game, when he led the attack on slowing down Willis McGahee with 10 tackles — his first double-digit tackle game since last year’s Game 7 vs. Detroit — and also lined up on the interior of the kickoff-coverage unit, something he hadn’t done since his rookie season of 2004.

“You figure something like that would happen, giving up a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown,” he said, referring to Patriot Ellis Hobbs’ opening-day house-cleaning. “It’s whatever needs to be done to win. We still didn’t win and we still gave up a long kickoff return [at Baltimore], unfortunately. We have to improve on that this week.”

One might assume ST duty is not one of Vilma’s favorite things, but you won’t hear it out of him.

“I just want to go out there and help and contribute,” he said. “I’m going to do what needs to be done of me and if the ball comes my way, make the play and do what I have to do.”

No Sounds of Silence

A cricket, or perhaps a family of the little critters, has found a home somewhere in the Jets media room where head coach Eric Mangini conducts his daily news conferences. Toward the end of Friday’s session, Mangini paused, looked to his left toward the room’s radiator and chuckled.

"This cricket is a fixture," Mangini said. "You can really hear him when I tell most of my jokes."

Webheads so inclined can actually hear the cricket chirping away toward the end of the coach’s Friday news conference, with the help of the newyorkjets.com media player.

Perhaps the insect is providing one more reminder for fans attending Sunday’s game: "LOUD CROWD, NO CRICKETS."


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Jets Didn’t Expect It, But Zach’s Out

Posted by Eric Allen on September 21, 2007 – 2:25 pm

Seven-time Pro Bowler Zach Thomas will not face the Jets Sunday. Thomas, who racked up 165 tackles to unofficially lead the NFL last season, suffered a concussion against the Cowboys and wasn’t able to practice this week.

"It’ll kind of be going day-to-day," said Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron of the star linebacker. "They got back the MRI and they didn’t see anything on that. They do further tests and so forth, so it’s ongoing, but he’s been ruled out of this game."

Moments earlier, inside the Jets’ locker room today, the Green & White expected a different outcome.

“We’re approaching the game like he’s playing and he’s a great player. He has been a great player for a long time,” said RB Thomas Jones. “We aren’t even looking at it like that. We’re assuming he’s going to play and we are prepared for him.”

Jones was the main media attraction following practice, but Randy Lange also chatted with Adrien Clarke about Thomas.

"We expect 54 to be in there,” said the Jets’ starting LG. “We know he’s a heck of a player and he fights through all injuries and everything, and that’s what we’re expecting to see."

This is a major blow to the Dolphins defense, which was already allowing 178 yards per game on the ground. OLB Channing Crowder will move over to the middle and Derrick Pope now becomes a starter on the outside.

You’d expect Jones to get carries early and often come Sunday afternoon. He averaged only 2.9 yards per rush against the Patriots and the Ravens, but he ran hard and he’s in a good state of mind.

“We have had a really good week of practice. We haven’t done anything different this week than we’ve done the past couple of weeks and training camp,” he said. “It’s the same thing. The defenses we’ve gone up against have played really good against us.”


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Jets-Ravens: Fourth Quarter

Posted by Randy Lange on September 16, 2007 – 6:35 pm

The only times in franchise history that the Jets overcame a lead of 14 points or more were in 1983 against the Saints (31-28 win after trailing, 28-14) and the aforementioned Monday Night Miracle.

And the Jets will need a Sunday Afternoon Sensation, now that Matt Stover has hit a 43-yard field goal to make it …

Ravens 20, Jets 3

Again the Jets are starting to move. Is it another mirage? Thomas Jones fumbles at the end of a 9-yard run but guard Adrien Clarke is there to fall on it. Then a swing to Laveranues Coles puts the Jets into the red zone, first-and-goal at the Baltimore 10.

Two more TJ runs make it third-and-goal at the 3. But then Kellen Clemens tries a fade to Coles that’s just too far and goes incomplete. Rather than go for, head coach Eric Mangini calls for a short Mike Nugent field goal, which he makes. But the Jets still have to find a way to score one touchdown, then another, in the game’s last 10:05.

Ravens 20, Jets 6

Willis McGahee has five straight games of 100-plus rushing yards vs. the Jets as a Buffalo Bill, and on his first two carries of the current drive he moves within 18 yards of doing it again.

The Jets stall the Ravens on an Eric Smith PD. If the Green & White have a comeback in them, it has to start now, with 6:47 left. (Obvious comment, no?)

Jerricho Cotchery has another fantastic catch-and-run, refusing to be brought down by Corey Ivy en route to a 44-yard pass play. But Kellen Clemens can’t engineer anything until fourth-and-7, when he hits Cotchery again and J-Co maneuvers to 23 yards to the 1. Then two more runs get nothing.

But then No. 86 rises up. Clemens, just beating the blitz, lofts a pass that TE Chris Baker snags by his fingertips as he’s heading out of bounds. This looks a lot like Baltimore No. 86 Todd Heap’s catch in the second quarter. With 3:12 to go, Ravens coach Brian Billick challenges the call. And unlike Heap’s grab, referee Scott Green does not reverse this one.

Ravens 20, Jets 13

Terrell Suggs is hit with a 15-yard personal foul on Mike Nugent’s PAT for "leveraging" trying to block the kick, which he didn’t. With 3:12 to go and all three timeouts left and Nugent kicking from his 45 instead of his 30, do the Jets try an onsides kick? Do they pooch? Drive it into the M&T stands? We’ll know in a second, after Baltimore’s timeout.

Nugent onsides it — and hits it almost perfectly. "Almost" because Brad Smith is in position to snatch it out of the air but his body is turned just too much that the ball bounces off his shoulder pad and the Ravens swat it out of bounds to retain possession.

The Jets then force a three-and-out as Shaun Ellis and friends chase Kyle Boller to the sideline, where he legally throws the ball away. Leon Washington lets Sam Koch’s punt go over his head for a touchback. And so with 2:38 to go and two timeouts plus the two-minute warning left, all Kellen Clemens has to do is move the Jets offense 80 yards for a tying touchdown.

Clemens steps to the right in the pocket and finds Cotchery over the middle, and then the WR gets away from Ed Reed and No. 89 is off the races again, with Laveranues Coles racing downfield to block. The play goes for 50 yards, giving Cotchery a career-high 165 yards for the game. At the two-minute warning, the Jets are at the Ravens 31. Wow.

On the first play after the warning, Justin McCareins is open at the 5 and Clemens sees him and throws it to him — and McCareins drops the potential game-tying TD. Now it’s third-and-11 — make that third-and-16 because the play clock has run out.

All of the two-minute drilling the Jets did all training camp has to kick in now. And the Jets get a boost to this latest leg of their comeback bid when Coles is taken down — defensive holding, 5 yards and a first down. Now there’s 1:49 left and it’s first-and-10 at the 31. And on the next play, Coles is open at the goal line but Clemens’ throw is slight underthrown and Coles can’t come up with it.

Also on that play, Cotchery tried to come up with a diving catch and appeared to jam something on his right arm. He leaves for a play and the Jets take a 10-second runoff, then he returns after one play.

Second down at the 31, and then third down as Clemens’ short out sails over Coles’ head. Third-and-10 at the 31, 1:23 left.

Then Coles matches Cotchery’s circus catch with a leaping catch over Samari Rolle and Dawan Landry to the Ravens 8. Scott Green reviews the call, but because Coles was forced out by Landry, the only thing Green can review is whether Coles made the catch. He did. First-and-goal at the 8.

But then disaster hits the Jets. Clemens’ high but catchable throw to McCareins glances off his hands — and into the hands of Ravens LB and defensive leader Ray Lewis. There’s 1:04 to go.

The defense stops three McGahee runs, then Kyle Boller takes a delay of game, then takes the snap and kneels down. The clock runs out. The Jets have run out of miracles for their too-little-too-late comeback. And they fall to 0-2.


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1st Offense: ‘No Excuses … Not Alarming’

Posted by Randy Lange on August 26, 2007 – 12:30 am

The Jets were upbeat in their locker room because of their 20-12 comeback win over the Giants tonight. And they were not beating themselves up over their first offense’s shortcomings.

"It’s good this is happening now and that we can figure things out with two weeks to go," QB Chad Pennington said, "and we’re not trying to look at things three or four weeks into the season and saying, ‘What are we going to do now?’ "

Later, Pennington said of his summer doldrums in particular, "There’s a lot of different factors, and there are no excuses, but to me it’s not alarming."

What the Jets were and will be looking at closely was the left guard situation. Jacob Bender started there and gave up a sack, then Adrien Clarke came in at the start of the second quarter, and the two rotated at the position into the second half. Certainly that was part of the Jets’ struggles: After hitting Leon Washington for a 79-yard touchdown strike on the game’s first play from scrimmage, the Green & White offense managed minus-5 yards, no first downs and 0-for-6 on third-down conversions before Pennington left after the first possession of the third quarter.

Head coach Eric Mangini described the struggles at guard as "part of the process. There were struggles at different points for all different levels of players. … We looked at the tape and we’ll see how it looks going forward. I think the reps that Jacob got tonight and that Adrien got tonight, were really positive."

Bender seemed to make it all right through his baptism by fire.

"My philosophy going into this was I didn’t want to just put my toe in the water — I’m jumping in head first," he said. On the 12-yard sack he yielded to DE Justin Tuck on the Jets’ fourth play, he said, "I didn’t use my technique and he capitalized on it. It was a great move."

Center Nick Mangold, the new leader in the center of the line, talked about building chemistry with the left guard and was pressed about whether that began late in the preseason with Bender, who was a left tackle in college and played a lot at right tackle before moving to left guard last week.

"It’s not so much a position-specific chemistry," Mangold said. "It’s finding out who each guy is, what he’s thinking, how he plays the game."

On Bender’s game alongside him, Mangold said: "I thought he did a great job. He built on each play, got better as the game went along. It was a testament to how he’s studying and learning."

One thing Pennington admits to learning is that the summer games have not been his forte.

"My history in preseason has not been real good," the QB admitted with a tired smile at the interview room podium. "I try to take the preseason games, take the film, learn from it, put it in my memory bank, work on it and learn from it."

Pennington’s recent preseason showing has not been hot, hot, hot. This year he and the first offense have produced seven points on 14 drives. In 2006-07 it’s 13 points on 24 possessions. And in his last three preseason games vs. the Giants, it’s 7 points on 23 drives.

Why is that?

"Sometimes you’re trying to work on your base offense and you don’t want to throw everything out there because you’re saving it for the regular season," he said. "We’re working guys in and out, a lot of guys are playing with the ones so we can see what they can bring to the table."

The Jets need to find out in the next two weeks before the Patriots come calling on Sept. 9.


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Jets-Giants: Second Quarter

Posted by Randy Lange on August 25, 2007 – 8:46 pm

SECOND QUARTER

Another Eli Manning incompletion brings on Lawrence Tynes for a 43-yard FG try. This time he’s wide left.

Adrien Clarke comes in for Jacob Bender to start the second quarter. Are we looking at an LG rotation for the immediate future?

Chad Pennington is in what Jets radio voice Bob Wischusen calls "the pistol" — a shortened shotgun formation. It doesn’t help. Chad flips to Leon Washington, who appears open around the right end initially but has to cut it back and runs into Brandon Moore. Result: 2-yard loss and another short Ben Graham punt.

Rookie LB David Harris comes into the middle of the defense to team up inside with Jonathan Vilma. But the big play of this drive is Darrelle Revis taking away Toomer’s inside position and breaking up Manning’s third-down throw. Another punt, this one by Chad Ohnesorge punting for the ageless Jeff Feagles, is downed by David Tyree, fighting past Manny Collins, at the Jets 1. Ninety-nine-yard drive anyone?

No. After an incomplete hitch pass out of an empty backfield, Clarke gets flagged for a false start. Then behind max-protect, Pennington can’t connect with Laveranues Coles and Leon Washington gains a yard.

Ben Graham has another short punt that R.W. McQuarters returns to the 36, and a Rashad Washington hold on the play prompts ref Ed Hochuli to announce the 10 yards will be added to the end of the punt. But after the commercial break, Hochuli corrects himself: Since the hold occurred in the end zone, it’s a safety.

Since that first play from scrimmage, it’s been tough sledding for the Green & White.

Jets 6, Giants 2

The Giants penetrate to the Jets 17. Then on first down Kerry Rhodes comes on a delayed blitz to force one Manning incompletion, then another blitz forces Manning to overthrow Toomer heading for the end zone. And a swing to Reuben Droughns is smelled out beautifully by Harris for a 5-yard loss. It’s Tynes time again, and he hits from 40. But all this better field position and a possession-time advantage of 18:48 to 6:50 still has produced only a very baseball-like score:

Jets 6, Giants 5

The mistakes continue. Sean Ryan holds on Brad Smith’s kickoff return, then a 1-yard completion to FB Darian Barnes and two Pennington incompletions, a go to Justin McCareins and a quick out that Jerricho Cotchery can’t handle. Now the Jets are 0-for-5 on third down conversions and have run five straight three-and-out drives — continuing a trend from the ’05 and ’06 preseason meetings with Big Blue.

The Jets’ sub defense, which had been bending but not breaking all half, finally breaks. Darrelle Revis made a nice PD on Sinorice Moss, then Vilma and Harris stop Droughns for 3 yards. But on third down, Manning throws a fade to WR Anthony Mix on outside CB Manny Collins, 7 inches shorter. Finally, a Giants TD with 27 seconds left in the half. After one more draw, the Jets kneel and head for the locker room lucky to be trailing by only …

Giants 12, Jets 6


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On Guard at Morning Practice

Posted by Randy Lange on June 14, 2007 – 1:25 pm

Veteran left guard Pete Kendall returned to work and even worked with the first offense at times, but at other times he was with the twos. He was kind of a 1½. He started the day with the second team behind Adrien Clarke, then would move in with the first offense for a while before being replaced by Clark.

See Eric Allen’s news story for today’s comments by head coach Eric Mangini, GM Mike Tannenbaum and Kendall on his status.

Kerry Rhodes was excused from the practice.

The D had some strong moments. Early on, Smith blitzed — remember, these are no-pads, no-contact practices — for a backfield "tackle" of Thomas Jones on a draw. Free agent Leonard Peters made a nice diving breakup of a low Brett Ratliff pass for Chansi Stuckey.

Coleman had a nice rush that forced Kellen Clemens into a hasty incompletion. In the battle of the twos, David Bowens at RDE beat Adrian Jones at LT to force another hurried pass.

In the two-minute drive to end practice, Rashad Washington made a nice breakup of a Chad Pennington pass for TE Chris Baker, swatting Baker’s hand and forcing the ball loose. But Pennington responded with a scramble and heave to Brad Smith, who double-snatched the ball away from Smith for the TD with 0:00 on the clock.

Mike Nugent finished by adding the tying PAT, then going 3-for-5 (hitting from 44 and 45, missing from 44 and 46) into a fair crosswind on field goals.

Jeff Weinstein of newyorkjets.com heard DE David Bowens commenting on the weather. With the breezes, overcast skies and temperatures in the low 60s, Bowens, who spent his previous six NFL seasons with the Dolphins, "It’s time to turn the heaters on, man. Where are the space heaters?"

During the practice, Brian Mulligan — Dr. Bri, I like to call him — cranked up some different sound, alternating the usual rap and rock numbers with Mozart and, for the first time, actual downloaded crowd noise and stadium sound effects. Get ready for that in five weeks or so at training camp.


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